The result of the European Union referendum has been confirmed, and the UK has voted to leave the EU.  While the position as regards our future relationship with the EU is highly uncertain at this time, it is clear this result could have significant implications for EEA nationals and their family members, and potentially more widely on the shape of UK immigration control.

The European working group is leading the work as regards what next steps should be taken by ILPA, and would encourage members to join the working group and come along to the working group meetings.  See the working group page for future dates: 

Please see below for various letters, briefings and responses:

ILPA evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on migration for its enquiry into Brexit and Immigration (24 March 2017)

ILPA Briefing For House Of Lords Committee On The European Union BREXIT: Devolution Inquiry (3 march 2017)

ILPA Briefing for House of Lords' Committee stage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: free movement and related matters, 26 February 2017 UPDATED 2 March 2017

ILPA submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs enquiry into Brexit and the Labour market (20 February 2017)

ILPA Briefing for Westminster Hall debate 29 November 2016 in the name of Thangam Debbonaire (Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees) on Refugee Family Reunion, 23 November 2016

ILPA submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on the human rights implications of Brexit - 17 October 2016

EU Referendum Parliamentary Briefings & Reports 30 June 2016 - Present

ILPA Evidence for the House of Lords’ Select Committee on the European Union for its enquiry into the possible consequences of Brexit on EU rights, 1 October 2016 UPDATED with additional ILPA evidence, 30 November 2016

ILPA Evidence for the House of Lords’ Select Committee on the European Union for its enquiry into the impact on the relationship between the United Kingdom and Ireland following the vote by UK citizens to leave the European Union, 30 September 2016

A letter to the Immigration Minister detailing key issues with regards to EEA applications

ILPA to Robert Goodwill MP, Minister of State for Immigration of 8 September 2016 re EEA applications

Evidence for the British Future's inquiry into the status of EU nationals in the UK

ILPA evidence for British Future's inquiry into the status of EU nationals in the UK, 7 September 2016

ILPA also produced a briefing for a 10 minutes rule bill on persons exercising rights under EU law.

ILPA briefing for a 10 minute rule bill on persons exercising rights under EU law and their position in the event of the UK leaving the EU, 8 July 2016


Prior to the referendum ILPA commissioned and published a set of position papers on legal issues relating to the EU referendum which may be of interest to members and the general public at this time.

The information below outlines the topic covered by each paper.

1. Sovereignty and legitimacy

Adrian Berry, Garden Court Chambers and Rowena Moffatt, Doughty Street Chambers

Covers the issues raised by the relationship between the UK and the EU in terms of the UK as a sovereign power, and as to the legitimacy of the EU and its institutions. A concern common to both issues is that power ought to be exercised on a democratic basis.

2. Free movement of persons and the single market

Catherine Barnard, University of Cambridge

Considers the centrality of migration to the EU’s single market.  Looks at the relevant Treaty provisions and the rights they confer on individuals wishing to work in another Member State and companies wishing to establish themselves or provide services in another Member State.

3. Rights of entry and residence

Steve Peers, University of Essex

Looks at what rights EU citizens have to enter and reside in other Member States, and how they can be limited. Addresses how EU citizenship ties in with the nationality laws of Member States.

4. EU free movement/citizenship in practice: at home and abroad

Matthew Evans, Director of the AIRE Centre

Covers what it means to be an EU citizen, and what are the rights and wider benefits which derive from this status.

5. EU Citizens’ access to welfare benefits – past, present and future

Desmond Rutledge, Garden Court Chambers

Looks at what welfare benefits EU citizens can claim in the UK, when they can claim them, and this how may change in the light of ongoing changes to the UK’s benefits system and the UK/EU renegotiation settlement agreed in February 2016.

6. The relationship between the European Court of Human Rights and the EU

Nuala Mole, Senior Lawyer at the AIRE Centre

Looks at the the relationship between the ECHR and the EU, focusing on the protection gap that exists as regards acts and omissions of the EU which may breach human rights and the halted accession process. The paper also includes some concluding thoughts on the impact of the relationship between the EU and the ECHR on a post-Brexit UK. 

The full version will be of particular interest to lawyers interested in the precise legal interrelation between the EU and the ECHR, and the relevant case law.

7. Free Movement and Criminal Law

Valsamis Mitsilegas, Queen Mary University of London

Covers when Member States can exclude and expel nationals of other Member States on the grounds of criminal conduct, and how they share relevant information. Also looks at the European Arrest Warrant system, which enables Member States to bring to justice individuals who have entered other Member States to evade prosecution or custody.

8. The implications of UK withdrawal from the EU for immigration policy and nationality law: Irish aspects

Bernard Ryan, University of Leicester

Considers how Brexit could affect the common travel area with the Republic of Ireland and the position of Irish nationals in the UK.

9. The impact of Brexit

Steve Peers, University of Essex

Looks at the UK’s options on Brexit as regards free movement of persons, and the withdrawal process under Article 50 TEU. Considers what would be the implications for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the remaining EU (including a discussion on the issue of ‘acquired rights’ under international law and in particular under Article 70 of the Vienna Convention).

10. The Common European Asylum System

Elspeth Guild, Partner, Kingsley Napley

Considers the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), and how it works for the UK. Also sets out the most recent reliable data on the arrival of asylum seekers in the EU in 2015, and discusses the possible implications of Brexit.

11. The EU’s Borders: Schengen, Frontex and the UK

Bernard Ryan, University of Leicester

Covers the legal framework behind the EU’s internal and external borders. Looks at the position of the UK within the current regime, and the possible implications of Brexit.

12. The implications for Scotland of a vote in the EU referendum for the UK to leave the EU

Maria Fletcher, Nina Miller Westoby and Sarah Craig, University of Glasgow

Discusses the possible implications for Scotland of both a vote for Leave and for Remain, including a summary of the UK devolution settlement and how it has evolved in practice.

13. After a hard Brexit – British citizens and residence in the EU

Elspeth Guild, Kingsley Napley, Steve Peers, University of Essex and Jonathan Kingham, LexisNexis

The purpose of this briefing note is to outline what a so-called hard BREXIT will mean for British citizens seeking to visit, live and work in the EU.  


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